Norwich City column: Edward Seaman says Teemu Pukki has to be retained for promotion bid
It was a case of what might have been at Old Trafford last weekend.
A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick eventually saw the hosts run out 3-2 winners, following a game in which Norwich City gave a good account of themselves.
Particularly pleasing to see was the spirit and belief shown from the Canaries, who fought back from 2-0 down courtesy of goals from the Kieran Dowell and the main man himself, Teemu Pukki, who I’ll come on to a little later. But ultimately, individual mistakes proved costly – an all too familiar tale this season.
Of course Ronaldo’s hat-trick wrote the headlines, but from a City perspective all three goals were entirely avoidable. The first in particular – which saw Ben Gibson lose possession of the ball in his own penalty area – was absolutely criminal.
But on to Pukki, whose composed finish early into the second half marked his 10th goal of the campaign.
It’s been impossible not to feel sorry for the Finn this season, so often cutting an isolated figure, especially in away games.
While inside I’m sure there have been frustrations, he has never moaned and has continued to run himself into the ground for the team, like the true professional he is.
In a side that has only managed 22 goals all season, reaching double figures is quite an achievement.
As I wrote last week, you can’t help but wonder what that tally might have been if the service was there for him to thrive upon.
Technically speaking, Pukki is out of contract this summer, but the club holds a one-year option which is set to be exercised.
Pukki himself has said he’s pleased that is happening, to put to bed any speculation about his future.
In truth, all we can do is hope he stays put because whatever else happens – having a fit, happy Teemu Pukki in our side automatically makes us serious contenders for promotion. He really is that important to the club.